Before the Nussmeier family moved from McCutchanville to the Lincolnshire area of Evansville, the simple pleasures of riding bicycles with friends, carpooling to events, and walking to school and work were unknown. Those small, every-day perks became a reality when Steve and Amy Nussmeier purchased a three-bedroom, two and a half-bath home on S. Willow Road in July 2013.
The decision to look for a home in Evansville was spurred by the Nussmeiers’ two daughters Carlie and Mallory, who were entering high school at Reitz Memorial and middle school at St. Benedict Cathedral School and who both are active in multiple sports. Steve is a co-owner at Nussmeier Engraving Company, a third-generation engraving, printing, and designing company located in Downtown Evansville.
“It was a drive to school, to work, to sports,” says Steve, who went to Memorial High School and ran track and field at Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky. “Because they do multiple sports, we were making the trip to Evansville five to six times a day.”
Choosing to look for homes in Lincolnshire seemed like a natural fit to Steve, who was born and raised in the neighborhood. It also is where his parents still live today. Amy’s mother grew up in the home next door to the house they purchased on S. Willow. The proximity to Reitz Memorial High School and St. Benedict Cathedral School would allow their daughters to walk to school.
When they decided it was time to buy, the Nussmeiers, married for 19 years, listed their McCutchanville home and sold it before they began looking for a new place to live. And when they started to look, there were no houses for sale in the area.
Amy, an Evansville Day School and Indiana University alumna, spotted the house built in 1927 on S. Willow Road and said, “If I was going to buy a house on this block, it would be this one.” The curb appeal and simple beauty of the brick Colonial-style is what drew her in.
“I drove through the Lincolnshire neighborhood and looked at this house from the street and thought, ‘This is it!’” says Amy of the home previously owned by Kenneth and Carolyn Helm. “Unfortunately, it was not for sale. I told my mother this story and she told me who lived in the house. The Helms are old family acquaintances and I knew Carolyn’s son Mark well. I gave him a call and the rest is history.”
“We ended up purchasing the house a few months later,” says Steve. “We liked the way it was decorated on the inside and kept all the color schemes. For two years, we kept it the way we bought it. This year, we have done a couple things — re-wallpapered the kitchen, changed some fixtures in the kitchen, and repainted the dining room. We painted the dining room the same color as the living room to make it look more open.”
Tay Ruthenberg at Evaline Karges Interiors, Inc. helped the Nussmeiers decorate and redo an upstairs bedroom, and Cindy Bell of Evansville was instrumental in placing furniture and hanging pictures.
The 2,500-square-foot home is two stories with a finished basement and has original hard woods floors downstairs. “They have their own creaks and they squeak — that’s part of their character,” says Steve.
Entering the home, guests step into the living room, immaculately designed with dark wood furniture, antique lighting fixtures, and dog figurines and ceramic pieces inspired by the Nussmeiers’ love of canines including their massive bulldogs named Lucy, 11, and Chuck, 10. A big screen television hangs over the fireplace with two glass-paned doors on either side of it opening to the sunroom, which was an add-on 20 years ago after formerly being used as an outdoor porch. Windows surround the room allowing light to filter through. While it has a stained wood ceiling, the rest of the room is painted white with yellow carpeting.
“It looks inviting to those passing on the street,” says Steve, who adds the family spends most of their time in this area. A door leads from the sunroom out to the backyard patio, which is patiently manicured by Steve. The bulldogs enjoy lazily laying on the brick walkway under the patio furniture in the yard. A detached two-car garage is accessible from the back of the house.
The living room also connects to the dining room, with a beautiful chandelier, original to the home, hanging above the dining room table. The kitchen, painted a bright coral, is off of the dining room with dark counters and white cabinets. Themed with farm animals, the kitchen has small paintings and figurines of chickens and cows. A smaller table in the kitchen area sits adjacent to the bar allowing seating for a quick meal or homework session.
“I would call my style traditional with a bend toward English Country,” says Amy. “I love warm tones and like to create a sense of coziness in each room. Home should be a sanctuary — a place your family wants to return to after a long day. That is the feeling I want to create in my home and this house does that job perfectly.”
A hallway connects the kitchen to stairs running down to the finished basement, a door to the backyard, and another set of stairs leading up to the two girls’ bedroom and the master suite.
“When the living quarters are tighter, I think it makes us a tighter-knit family,” says Steve. “We are all up on the same floor together.”
Since moving to Lincolnshire, Carlie, 17, a junior at Memorial, and Mallory, 14, an eighth grader at St. Ben’s, have embraced the change of living close to friends. Carlie plays varsity volleyball at Memorial and played basketball for two years. Mallory plays volleyball and basketball for St. Ben’s, and also serves as goalie for the Memorial Cub Soccer Team and on a travel team Indiana Fire. Amy took a job as the varsity volleyball coach at Memorial and currently is in her second year. She also accepted a job teaching sixth through eighth grade Language Arts and English Literature at St. Ben’s, allowing her to walk both to work and practice. Steve’s commute to Nussmeier Engraving now is only a mile and half, allowing easy access to home during the day if needed.
Since the move to Lincolnshire, Amy says the family finally has time to relax.
“Our favorite place to hang out is on the porch out front,” says Steve. The porch is brick and wraps around the front of the sunroom and the entrance of the house.
“We have rocking chairs and people drive by and there’s a lot of activity. On football Friday nights, there’s tailgating on our front porch. It’s really fun. When we lived in McCutchanville, we used to spend a lot of time outside. We still spend that time outside, but just in a different way.”